During this very strange and unprecedented year, I am extremely thankful that I serve a congregation that is both flexible and supportive as we navigate this uncharted wilderness together. While there have been many challenges along our path, there have been many more opportunities before us to serve God and our neighbors faithfully. Thanks to your faithful giving of both your financial resources and your time, I believe Avondale UMC has grown stronger than ever before.
I began the year with a vision for ways we could improve and expand several ministries aimed toward children; and I had begun laying the groundwork with leadership and staff to bring this to fruition over the course of the year. There was also a committed group of church members that had begun dreaming and visioning ways in which we could reach our community beyond the walls of the church through small groups meeting in local coffee shops and breweries.
We were forced to hit pause on all these things once the pandemic hit in mid-March, and we had to suspend in-person gatherings at the church. The church had two options, pivot to new expressions of ministry or remain dead in the water. The choice was clear. As people who follow and serve the living God, “dead in the water” was not an option. Sure enough, new opportunities for worship and mission began to emerge, and we began to pursue them with renewed energy. We began delivering groceries to Avondale School families … we began giving away boxes of produce through a mobile food pantry … we provided space and support for a group making masks for local hospitals and healthcare workers … we moved worship and Bible study online … and so much more. During this time, all of you remained faithful in your giving to God through the church. Without that generosity of spirit, the church wouldn’t be where it is today.
As we look to 2021, I am still hopeful even in the midst of the uncertainty of our world. I have this hope because the one thing of which I am certain is that God is faithful and ready to lead us into new territory if we’re willing to follow.
I pray you will continue to faithfully give as we look toward 2021. Please consider making a pledge to our church for 2021. Pledges are essential in helping church leaders to budget for our ministries and missions in the year ahead. Commitment Sunday is November 22 … but you don’t have to wait until then to make your pledge. You can go online by clicking here and make your 2021 pledge today. Through our shared generosity, I have no doubt that God will work wonders through Avondale UMC in the coming year and beyond.
Living in Hope and Gratitude,
Rev. Malinda Weaver